May is the month of the first outdoor events. Discover the programme of the season's best outings in Paris.
Discover the highlights of the Paris culture scene in May 2024. From amazing exhibitions and shows to the year’s first open-air festivals, there are plenty of exciting events in store.
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The immersive event SPOT24 has been set up at the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower. It gives pride of place to emerging Olympic sports such as breaking, BMX freestyle, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and 3x3 basketball. Step into this unique exhibition celebrating the convergence of sport and urban cultures.
In her show “Féminines“ staged at the Grande Halle de la Villette from May 14 to 17, 2024, the director Pauline Bureau tells the true but little-known story of women who juggled a sporting career, a job and their personal lives from 1968 onwards. Féminines is an adventure that puts the focus on teamwork; the directing is inventive and light-hearted, interspersed with matches on a giant screen and pop hits. It’s almost as exciting as a real football match!
On the Île-Saint-Denis, Friday, May 24, 2024, don’t miss the feminist production « Ladies Football Club », based on a piece of writing by Stefano Massini describing the creation of an amateur women’s football club in England during the Second World War.
For little ones, the Philharmonie de Paris and the Ensemble intercontemporain raise children’s awareness of music through sport. May 31, 2024, ‘From the field to the stage’ showcases original works by young composers accompanying choreography by Martin Grandperret and inspired by Olympic sports (slalom canoeing, pentathlon, basketball and archery).
© David Lefranc
Spring in Paris promises to be full of unforgettable concerts!
Eric Clapton, the legendary guitar hero, will give concerts at the Accor Arena on two absolutely not-to-miss dates, May 26 and 27, 2024. There’ll also be lots of guitar to be heard during an electrifying concert by the hardiest rock duo of recent years, The Kills. They’ll be onstage at the Olympia May 3 2024.
If it’s melodic pop you prefer, the French band Papooz is your best bet May 16, 2024. They will be at La Cigale playing a concert with 1970s touches and delightfully light-hearted tunes. Étienne Daho, the French pop icon, is gearing up for a show that should be spectacular on 16 May 2024. The artiste is going all out with stage design, lights and tableaux specially conceived for the Zénith.
The singer and comedian Giedré will offer the audience more than just music when she performs at the Théâtre de l’Atelier. May 6, 2024, she will sing Les Chansons de la radio, a set of compositions filled with offbeat humour. Bonnie Banane, the hard-to-define French pop singer, will give a high-energy concert mixing funk, electro and R&B May 15, 2024 at the Trianon.
May 3, the French rap phenomenon, Zola, will be at the brand-new venue the Adidas Arena in the 18th arrondissement, belting out well-crafted tunes with a hint of trap. Want more concerts? The list goes on. May 30, Féfé will be at La Cigale and Christophe Willem at the Olympia. The well-known zouk band, Kassav’, will get the audience moving on 18 May at the Accor Arena and Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine will perform a blend of rock and French chanson on 17 May at the Olympia. And to wind up the month in style, some classical music: the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris will play Mozart and Beethoven May 23, 2024 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
In May 2024, Paris will unveil its artistic treasures through a rich and varied series of exhibitions, starting with the Grand Palais immersif which is hosting ‘Loading. Urban Art in the Digital Era’. This event explores the impact of the technologies of digital production and broadcasting on the work of street artists. On from from December 6, 2023 to July 21, 2024.
While awaiting its complete restoration following the fire in 2019, Notre-Dame de Paris is the subject of an exhibition that retraces its history from its construction to the present day. ‘Notre-Dame de Paris, from builders to restorers’ is on until June 2 at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine.
May 15, 2024 marks the opening, at the Musée de la Vie romantique, of the exhibition Les Chevaux de Géricault, which examines the theme of horses and the way the painter used them in his work (until September 15, 2024).
Other exhibitions to see before they end: Extérieurs — Annie Ernaux et la Photographie at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, from February 28 to May 26, 2024, Tina Modotti – The Eye of Revolution at the Jeu de Paume, from February 13 to May 26, 2024, The Magicians of Cinema at the Centre des Arts d'Enghien-les-Bains, February 2 to May 26, 2024 Métro ! Le Grand Paris en mouvement at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, until 2 June 2024.
© David Lefranc
May has some impactful shows in store, from plays to opera and dance.
Head to La Scala to see Tous les marins sont des chanteurs (All sailors are singers), a show combining song and humour which celebrates the sea and friendship, featuring François Morel from May 14 to June 2, 2024.
This time the destination is Gotham City! May 24, 2024, the soundtrack of the movie Batman, directed by Tim Burton, will be heard at the Grand Rex during a special film in concert titled Batman 1989, organized to mark the 35th anniversary of the film’s release.
Are you interested in a crash course in art history? Then go along to the show resembling a talk by Hector Obalk, the art critic and historian. He covers the entire history of painting in less than two hours at the Théâtre le 13ème Art until June 3, 2024. It’s amusing, educational and fascinating.
Another piece to see at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Passeport, is the latest creation by the acclaimed Alexis Michalik, which deals with the migrant crisis (January 26 to June 30, 2024). At the 13eme Art, there’s a revival of Manon des Sources by Marcel Pagnol in musical form April 4 to June 9, 2024.
The choreographer Angelin Preljocaj will present Requiem(s), his new creation, at the Grande Halle de la Villette May 23 to 31, 2024 and at the Palais de Chaillot you can admire, May 16 to 18, 2024, Umuko + Toi, moi, Tituba, the work of Dorothée Munyaneza. As for opera, Médée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier will be staged at the Opéra Garnier from April 10 to May 11, 2024 and Salomé de Richard Strauss from May 9 to 28, 2024 at the Opéra Bastille.
There’s something for everyone in Paris in May, including the little ones. Babies are cosseted by cultural venues (and artists), with programmes increasingly featuring events for this very special section of the public.
If you’re looking for an initiation to classical music for tiny tots, you can count on the Orchestre Lamoureux, which organizes 30-minute Baby Concerts specially for 0-5-year-olds. Forthcoming dates, May 25 and 26, 2024 at the Théâtre de l’Atelier.
‘Peter and the Wolf’ is a classic musical fairy tale. It has been performed many times, and now returns to the Théâtre du Châtelet, May 26, 2024 in a jazz version by The Amazing Keystone Big Band (6 years and older). More music with Chantal Goya, the idol of children in the 1970s and 1980s, who will perform her latest show, May 18, 2024 at the Palais des Congrès.
‘On the Enchanted Road’ will also delight the current generation of children! At the Théâtre de la Boussole, you can see ‘Max and the Great Magician’, an entertaining show blending an adventure story and magic (until June 30, 2024).
As for activities, there are plenty of unusual things to do.
Want to fly like a bird? You can now with FlyView 360, which offers amazing virtual reality experiences such as flying over Paris or France. Illucity is another must-do of a similar kind with a catalogue featuring a dozen virtual reality adventures. And at the Paradox Museum, a venue that has come up with an entertaining trail entirely devoted to optical illusions, there’s no need to wear a helmet.
May is usually a month with several holidays and long weekends; it’s also a month of trade shows and festivals. Have a look at the programme.
This year, the evergreen Foire de Paris is celebrating its 120th anniversary. Thousands of visitors are expected to go to Paris Expo Porte de Versailles May 1 to 12, 2024 to discover innovative products and visit stalls with themes ranging from fine food and wellbeing to home renovation and craftsmanship. It’s a great place to do some shopping and the best show at which to discover new things.
May 30 to June 2, 2024, another event, this one devoted to the art of the garden, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. On this special occasion, Jardins Jardin will change its venue to the gardens of the newly renovated Villa Windsor.
At the Parc Floral, all things rum-related will be the focus May 4 to 6, 2024 with the Rhum Fest. There will be the stalls of several distilleries, a bookshop area and a food court.
Viva Technology, the European trade show devoted to innovation, will take place May 22 to 25. It will be on at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for people keen on technological innovation and for businesses from around the world.
The committed We Love Green festival has already announced the name of its first headliner. It's the famous rapper Ninho. Many other artists are expected to perform on the stages set up in the Bois de Vincennes between Friday May 31 and Sunday June 2, 2024.
As for the Marvellous Island Festival, it will be held May 18 and 19, 2024 at the Plage de Torcy: two days of partying to techno and house music.
May 25 and 26, 2024, the Cercle Festival will return to the Musée de l’Air and the Espace du Bourget for a truly one-of-a-kind event that brings electronic music and the world of aviation and space together.
The heart of Paris will get into the groove May 13 to 21, 2024 during the Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Festival, with a programme of concerts taking place in several different venues across this iconic district of the capital.
May is also the month of the fabulous Nuit des Musées, during which you can visit several Paris museums after nightfall. Screenings, workshops, illuminated tours and special trails: Saturday May 18 promises to be an evening of many discoveries!
A not-to-be-missed event in world sport, the Roland Garros tournament is part of France's heritage! Going to Roland Garros is, of course, a sure way of witnessing the greatest tennis matches and the exploits of the best players. Borg, Lendl, McEnroe, Noah, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Evert, Graf, Navratilova and Serena Williams have all written the legend of the French Open, which attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators every year in a unique atmosphere.
May 18 and 19, 2024, a show of a different kind will take place at the Auteuil racecourse. The Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris is one of the most challenging obstacle races for horses. It is absolutely thrilling for participants and spectators alike.
A competition featuring 30-odd sports with the goal of combating homophobia and discrimination: that is the mission of the Tournoi International de Paris. May 17 to 19, 2024, the TIP will advocate for making sport welcoming, with competitions in several Paris locations, open to one and all!